Mexico’s Obrador to boycott Americas summit over Cuba snub
All the continents’ countries should be included, premier says as Venezuela and Nicaragua barred too
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won’t attend the Summit of the Americas set to take place in Los Angeles this week in protest over the US President Joe Biden’s decision not to invite the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
“There can’t be a Summit of the Americas if all the countries of the continent don’t participate,” Lopez Obrador told reporters during his daily press briefing on Monday. “That’d be to continue with the old interventionist policy, of lack of respect for nations and their people.”
Amlo, as the president is known, had been warning for the past weeks that he would not attend the summit and would send foreign affairs minister Marcelo Ebrard in his absence if Biden did not extend the invitation to all Latin American countries, including Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
The Mexican leader said he regrets not being able to meet Biden in Los Angeles and said he will travel to see him in the US next month. He blamed the Republic Party with the Cuban community in the US for the country’s policies towards the communist island, including the trade embargo in place for 60 years.
“It’s a policy in place for decades but if you don’t say enough, they won’t get a solution,” Obrador said.
The US government considers that Cuba, with Venezuela and Nicaragua, don’t follow democratic procedures, thus they should be excluded from the region’s top political gathering. The Biden administration has made a final decision against inviting these three governments, people familiar with the decision told Bloomberg News on Sunday.
The participation of all the heads of state in the region drove a wedge between the Biden administration and some of Latin America’s governments. Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez and Chile’s Gabriel Boric were also among leaders calling for all countries to be included in the summit, even if they will participate in the event.
Yet the possibility of a boycott by Latin American nations lost momentum last month when Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he will be travelling to Los Angeles to meet Biden. The attendance of the region’s largest economy, after Bolsonaro initially considered skipping the event to focus on his reelection campaign, added a critical participant to the summit.
In any case, Cuba’s president Miguel Diaz-Canel ruled out travelling to the US in a message on his Twitter account. The Caribbean nation instead invited its allies to a rival meeting in Havana, which includes regional backers such as Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
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